Holy Saturday Meditation

Holy Saturday

By Fr. Dinh G. Votran, A.A.

Throughout the Liturgical Year, there is no day as sad, quiet, gloomy, or empty, as Holy Saturday. The end of a life is so sad. Jesus was laid in a tomb after he was whipped, crowned with thorns, crucified, pierced through the heart, and humiliated. All is just silence!

Jesus is in a tomb and the entire universe is quiet. All aspects of life, either joys and sorrows, happiness and loneliness, are in deep silence. The earth embraces the dead body of the Incarnate Word. Everything becomes motionless and seems meaningless with human being’s plan of life here on earth. The tomb is the endless silence in human history. The silence turns all beings to Nothingness. Jesus is dead. Jesus emptied Himself and He became the Nothingness. In the tomb, Jesus had absolutely nothing left; no longer did a single thought exist. The tomb of Jesus makes his followers question their existence.


The tomb of Jesus makes human beings’ experience of the absence of God worse, not better. Some who plan to live without God might be happy because they silenced Jesus.  Then they realize that the voice of their conscience still whispering to their ears. They know that they need God more than ever. How do Jesus’ followers react?


The tomb of Jesus makes human beings experience their death. Death is always the worst misery of all times. In our death, we raise this question: why does God hide His presence in the world that belongs to Him? He is powerless even in His own death. How do Jesus’ followers react?


There will come a time when Jesus’ followers will also have to learn how to be silent. They need to silence all their words, empty all their thoughts, put down all their plans and even turn off all movements of their existence. Jesus’ followers must learn with (their) Master: to lie down still as if their existence melts away, returns to ashes, and disappears into the earth. Like their Master, they must become nothingness.


Jesus empties all his glory of life! Jesus becomes powerless!

He enters the darkness through the death on the cross and the silence of the tomb. The deeper Jesus is willing to go down; the more wonderful deeds His Father will do. The shadow of the cross is covered with the bright rays of Easter light. Resurrection is the unimaginable act of creation of God the Father. Similarly, the more we empty ourselves and become nothingness in life, the more our life naturally, quietly blooms!